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 Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Howard, Frank.
Colour, as a Means of Art, being an adaptation of the experience of professors to the practice of amateurs.

London Joseph Thomas: 1838.

The first edition of this interesting book by the author of several art manuals, including a companion volume on sketching. In this volume Howard surveys the coloring used by various schools and masters of art, including Titian, Rubens and Turner, and instructs the amateur on how to achieve like effects and gain a knowledge of coloring. The book is perhaps most notable today as a very early example of color lithographic printing, with 18 color plates produced by Charles Joseph Hullmandell. A Paris-trained painter, Hullmandell was introduced to lithography by the pioneering lithographer Alois Senefelder during a trip to Munich in 1817. Soon he had developed his own lithographic press and was experimenting with new techniques, including ways of printing in colors. Howard notes in his preface, "For the method in which the plates of the present work have been executed, I am indebted to a recent improvement in Lithography, made by Mr. Hullmandell. It is capable of producing more nearly the effects of painting than any other style of engraving but from these plates, professing only to represent masses of Colour and general tone, and being the first that have been attempted in this particular application, they are not calculated to display Mr. Hullmandell's improvement to advantage". Despite Howard's protestations, the plates, which were achieved by the printing of three or four overlays of color, have an undeniable charm and are quite effective at getting across the points Howard is making in the text. Not everyone found Hullmandel as pleasant to work with as Howard apparently did- in a letter to J.D. Hooker on March 11, 1844, Charles Darwin noted that "I believe Hullmandell is a good litho. printer, but I found him rather troublesome." I suppose the price of art must always be paid, and geniuses are often cranky.

Hardcover. 5"x8", ii, 106 pages, plus 18 lithographed, colored plates. Publisher's brown cloth with gilt title rebacked and with a new cloth spine covers with some soil and wear, contents with minor soil and some scattered light spotting, but over all a nice copy.

Inventory #: 9457
Price: $ 400.00      

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